A Time for Braiding…..and hooking

I have not posted for awhile….and Christine has very ably entertained us with her excellent writing and creative artistic skills (but I refuse to be intimidated!)

Seriously, my 95 year old Dad has been in declining health and passed away last week. I have found that during this time of his fading from us, I have gravitated to my fiber room and have plugged into hooking and braiding projects which require technical skill but little else, nothing new and innovative but satisfying none the less. It was satisfying to have my hands busy with little thought while my mind wandered or worried.

hooked and braided velvet bowl

hooked and braided velvet bowl. I made

I made a couple of braided bowls with hooked bottoms out of my hand dyed stretch velvet. I think the soft and stretchy velvet added to the tactile satisfaction.

future mulch!

future mulch!

After his passing we had to go to our coast house (where the large Hit and Miss rug is happily enjoying itself) to supervise some serious tree removal. We now have some serious wood chip mulch distribution in our futures.

As always,  I take a small bin of fabric, hooks, needles, threads. I found myself braiding, braiding, braiding….without really anything concrete in mind.

The worm mats just got bigger; were they going to be mats or baskets?
It wasn’t until I pressed them nice and flat that I decided, mats.


Made from 'wooly worms'

Made from ‘wooly worms’






And the patterned selvage round: mat or basket?: butted or continuous?: and how to end? In the end I attached the butted row with double corners to give a simple Lunette Border effect although done with double corners to anchor  (pg 116 of Combining Rug Hooking and Braiding, McDermet, Manges, Tobias) and I fudged and used the uneven length to hang it in a bedroom with maroon bedding and furniture.

"Lunette" Mat

“Lunette” Mat

And before I knew it,  I ended up with 3 small items for the house.

The act of braiding gave my hands activity while my mind could wander in all sorts of directions, mainly about my dad. It was pure pleasure, especially after his passing because the mind began to regain the good memories from years past, not the more recent unhealthy memories. These items are not my best for sure, but the journey to finish them provided the calm I needed for reflection and healing.

7 thoughts on “A Time for Braiding…..and hooking

  1. Dear Friend,
    To have had your dad for 95 years how blessed you are, yet I’m sorry you are having to go through this time of loss and sorrow. My prayers and thoughts are with you, and I hope God comforts your heart with sweet memories and a sense of peace.

  2. Very sorry to hear about your dad. My mom is 94 and demented, so in a sense she has already gone away from us. There is no easy way, it seems. But you have given me some new ideas about braiding also, so thanks for this post.

  3. Wonderful writing about your special Dad and your loss. Good and comforting thoughts for you and your family. Mary

  4. So sorry for your loss. Yes, braiding and fiber art is something that feeds our soul in many different ways. Glad you found the good memories, too.

  5. Sorry to hear about your loss Dianne. I get that getting into our craft is good for the soul! Mary D

  6. Diane, I am sorry for your Dad passing. But he will always be with you. I’m glad your braiding helped you untangle your thoughts. At the same time you were making more memories. When you look at these pieces you will remember how they helped you. Peggyann

  7. My condolences to you Dianne on the passing of your father. Never easy to say the earthly goodbye. What a ripe old age to have lived to. The braiding you have done in the grief process is very attractive and the blue hooked and braided bowl especially unique. Take your time and God can restore hope and expectation.

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